How good are you really at managing your self?

All entries, Effective working, Handling stress
Struggling to find time? Maybe it’s time to look in detail at what’s going on. We all love a quick self-assessment. Developed for one of my workshops, it takes no more than 5 minutes and allows you to score your strength in time management, and will help to raise your awareness of where things may not be quite as you would like and to take action. How good are you at managing your self? Click the image to find out
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Time to invest

Time to invest

Effective working
A few weeks ago the Chancellor focussed on how to boost productivity, outlining a plan “to invest today for the economy of the future”. In 2015 the previous Chancellor did the same. Year after year, the same focus but little progress. At a micro-level, the same story plays out for us as individuals and as businesses. Intellectually, we acknowledge with Stephen Covey the wisdom of the story of the goose that lays the golden eggs... “if you adopt a pattern of life that focuses on golden eggs and neglects the goose, you will soon be without the asset that produces golden eggs” We know that what we choose to invest in, to spend money or time on now, will help to determine our future, yet we struggle to make necessary…
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Did you get 8hrs last night? The Prime Minister didn’t

All entries, Effective working, Handling stress
This morning we woke to the news that the European Council negotiations went through the night, finally finishing at 5.30am Brussels time. The ‘all-nighter’ is a staple of international politics, but is it really a great way to decide matters of major importance? Here's a look at the impact of sleep deprivation on politicians and some handy tips , if you have to engage with them, on how to do so effectively taking into account lack of sleep. Worship of the sleep-deprived powerful There is a machismo in politics and in business around always being available, not taking holiday and working long hours. Lists abound of chief executives who survive on little sleep while the UK Sleep Council found politicians to be among the most sleep-deprived members of society, averaging 5.2hrs a night.…
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Hectic week? Should you be saying no more?

All entries, Effective working, Handling stress
One of the key skills for any professional is the ability to say “no” and to do so in a way that supports good working relationships. This can be a challenge particularly for those starting out in the industry. They are anxious that “no” will be interpreted negatively: that they will be seen as unhelpful, or even obstructive; that they will be making life harder for their line manager; that they will be seen as unable to cope with the workload or inefficient. Yet the reality is that managers really need their team to be honest about what they can take on. It’s no good saying “yes”, taking on the project, knowing it’s going to have ramifications down the line, and storing up that problem for yourself and them. We…
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Strategic thinking: the power of asking the right questions

All entries, Effective working, Strategic thinking
Considering whether to attend the Strategic Thinking workshop on Friday 11th December? To further whet your appetite here’s just one element of what we will be discussing: the power of asking the right questions. In public affairs we often put huge pressure on ourselves to come up with the ‘right’ advice and, often, to do so quickly. There can be a tendency to prejudge, make assumptions about what has not been said and race ahead, all in an effort to appear authoritative, confident and decisive. Yet the reality is that you demonstrate far more strength and confidence if you take the time to ask questions and to really understand the situation. Listening attentively and asking the right questions shows that you take the issue seriously, while creating the conditions for you to…
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Big meeting next week? 6 tips for Boardroom Confidence

All entries, Confidence, Effective working
Confidence in the Boardroom - 6 things you can do today Nearly every practitioner, in-house or agency, has at some stage found it daunting to provide counsel face-to-face. Pressure to provide the "right" answer, nervousness, or a particularly difficult scenario, can inhibit us from speaking up when we should or, when we do, undermine the quality of advice given. A workshop on Boardroom Confidence in February 2016 will explore the subject more thoroughly but if you have a big meeting next week, here are six quick tips that could make the difference. 1. Be clear on your objectives Establish now what you want to achieve in the meeting: does a decision need to be reached, does someone need to be persuaded about a course of action, or maybe you just need to…
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What Cameron can learn from FTSE 100 CEOs

Career development, Effective working, Westminster
The prime minister can't be complacent and has to trust and engage his MPs - much like big business bosses. David Cameron’s second term as prime minister will bring new challenges, many of which are familiar to FTSE 100 chief executives. First, past performance is not an indication of future results. When the FTSE 100 celebrated its 30th birthday last year only 30 companies remained from the original index. Only 19 had never dropped out. David Cameron needs to learn that lesson. The two-party political system is dead: Labour and the Conservatives scraped just 67% of the vote, the Liberal Democrats were all but destroyed, UKIP secured the third-largest vote share, the SNP are the third-largest party and Labour have been thrown into a period of navel-gazing. Cameron cannot assume…
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